I’d like to take this space to make an appeal to Andrew Friedman – please, go for it. You have a really good team (the best run differential in the American League, even) filled with young talent, and you got Tampa excited about baseball with a World Series run last year. Your team currently stands 4 1/2 games out of first place in the AL East and 3 1/2 games out of the top spot in the wild card standings. You’re a contender. You just need to upgrade your starting rotation.
Thankfully, there’s this guy named Cliff Lee who the Indians would be willing to part with for the right offer. He’s really good, and he’s not just a rental player – he’d help you in 2009 and 2010. You have a remarkably deep farm system, overflowing with talented guys you don’t have room for. You have guys like Reid Brignac, Matt Joyce, Wade Davis, and now Jeremy Hellickson in Triple-A. You have Willy Aybar on the bench. Your outfield is overcrowded, but someone is going to have to go to make room for Desmond Jennings eventually. You have talent to spare.
Your team is interesting and fun to watch, and better than those two things, they aren’t the Yankees or Red Sox.
Last year’s postseason was a breath of fresh air, because we didn’t have the same old series we’ve been having over and over again all decade. With the Angels pulling away in the AL West, and the two titans of payroll currently in line for playoff spots, we’re dangerously close to getting the same AL playoff series’ we’ve seen 100 times already. As a baseball fan, I’m simply asking that you give me the chance for a more interesting October.
Call up Mark Shapiro and blow him away with an offer. Stick Lee in front of Shields, Garza, Price/Kazmir, and Niemann and run down the big boys. You have talent coming out of your ears, and a real shot at winning the World Series this year. I know you love Wade Davis, but you can live without him – you have 18 other pitchers who could take his place in future seasons.
For the good of baseball, give us another post-season free of either Boston or New York.
Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.